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    Shopping List Envelopes for Your Customers Who Coupon

    bigstock-Pulling-Coupons-Out-of-Wallet-38342842Saving money by couponing is all the rage! They have even made a reality TV show about couponing. If your business is looking for a creative new promotional idea, consider offering envelopes designed to hold coupons that also offer printed space on the front for a shopping list.

    The envelopes are printed in one, two or full four color. This is one of those marketing ideas that will have shelf life and impact for your business.

    Could “Shopping List Envelopes” be a good idea for your company? I don’t know, but one thing is for sure it is outside of what is considered the “Normal Marketing” box. The following are a few tips for using this creative marketing idea:

    The envelopes are regular #10 white wove envelopes, but what is printed on them makes them very useful in promoting your business and growing your data base. You can even use them as a tool to grow your email database.

    The backside (flap side) of the envelope offers the best real estate for a marketing opportunity such as your logo, website, and tagline without taking away from the usefulness of the lined list area on the front of the envelope. Plus, every time your customer opens the envelope to put a coupon in or take one out, the first thing they see is your logo and company information.

    There is a branding opportunity on the front of the envelope as well. We can design it with your corporate colors or faded logo watermark behind the list area light enough so that it doesn’t interfere with readability of a hand-written list.

    If your business offers coupons, consider including a few printed coupons with each envelope. Use the opportunity to include a marketing statement-stuffer that promotes upcoming sales, events or new products or services.

    Use it as a way to build your email list by offering additional envelopes via request on your website. To receive envelopes people have to enter their contact information and email address. This will draw people to your website, but will also give you a tool to increase your marketing data base.

    What type of businesses would Shopping List Envelopes be a good marketing tool for? Any business in which women are their primary customers and are the decision makers for their product or service. Women are still the primary grocery shoppers. Below is a short list of business categories that could benefit from this program:

    • Grocery Stores
    • Real Estate Agents
    • Chiropractors
    • Dentists
    • Health Foods
    • Auto
    • Dealerships
    • Home Improvement Companies
    • Heating & Air Companies
    • Auto Insurance
    • Health Insurance
    • Banks
    • Financial Planners
    • Carpet Cleaning
    • Pizza Delivery
    • Water Softeners and Conditioners
    • Women’s Clothing Stores
    • Shoe Stores

    At first blush, you may dismiss this idea as being beneficial for your business. Just remember if it is useful to your customer, it will be wanted by your customer and will put your company in front of their eyes and in their hands.

    It is a different concept and you should own the concept before your competitor does.

    Want to be remembered for giving away marketing items your audience can actually use? Order your shopping list envelopes. Call us at 727-536-4173.

    ©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

    Simple Ideas for Getting & Keeping More Customers


    Customer Attrition – Got Any?

    This one word, if not addressed in your business can in a few years put you out of business, that word is “attrition”.

    What is it? The dictionary defines attrition as “the gradual reduction of something, something leaving and not being replaced.”

    Every year a business (or a sales person) will lose 20% to 30% of its customers. Customers will move away, die, go out of business or find another vendor. Some years attrition is greater, some years it is less. One thing is certain if you don’t have a program to handle attrition, you are fighting an up hill battle.

    What is the best way to handle attrition in your business? There are a couple of things you can do to minimize attrition.

    One: Commit to a regular and consistent marketing program to create new customers. Very effective is direct mail such as post cards or letter mailers. Marketing for new business is key. Roughly 30% of your marketing efforts should be directed toward existing customers and 70% toward getting new business. Another way is to be consistent about asking for referrals.

    Usually a direct mail program combined with a referral program works very well. Why direct mail? Why not Internet ads? I have found that most businesses should do both, but for most businesses it is a bad idea to rely solely on Internet marketing. Why? The Internet has a lot of noise and a lot of competition. In recent years (the herd) has moved to the Internet. Today there is less competition and more sales potential generated from the mailbox than any other advertising medium. Why?

    Need Help with a Customer Retention Program?

    1. With direct mail your communication (ad) goes directly to the person you want. 99% of people in the United States have a mailbox and get and read their mail. They will see your message. If the direct mail piece is designed properly and the recipients need what you are selling they will call.

    2. Your ad will most likely arrive by itself and not with a bunch of your competitors. Do an Internet search for the products or services you sell. How many of your competitors pop up? Are you on the first page? How many of your competitors ads are at the top or to the side of the page?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have only your business in front of your customer? Direct Mail can do that for you. When compared to other mediums for generating qualified leads, direct mail is less expensive and gives you more bang for your buck.

    Two: Much of a business’ attrition can be attributed to poor service. This is one you can fix. Almost everyone can stand for improvement in this area. Companies that focus on customer retention tend to see profits grow anywhere from 25 to 100 percent annually. In business, we all strive to provide outstanding customer service. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t live up to those ideals.

    Here are a couple of simple ideas to unlocking richer, more meaningful relationships with your customers:

    1. Learn your customers’ names. Everybody appreciates being recognized when walking into a place of business, particularly if they visit that company frequently. As the theme song to Cheers puts it, “Sometimes, you want to go where everybody knows your name.” Make a concerted effort to learn the names of the people you come into contact with regularly, and greet them by name whenever possible. Make sure all your front line people do this and are aware of the importance of it. But start with last names first. Of course, before you start addressing customers on a first-name basis, make sure they are comfortable with this practice. Some customers might find it disrespectful or “too” personal to have you greet them by their first name. Follow the customer’s lead, if possible, or try starting with “Mr. Johnson,” before calling your customer “Bob,” particularly if they are not your peer.

    2. Show genuine appreciation. Let your customers know you’re glad to see them every time they walk through the door. Make an effort to greet people with a warm smile and an enthusiastic hello. Then back it up with outstanding service and a “can do” attitude. Thank your customers when they buy from you, and keep in touch to let them know they’re on your mind and are appreciated.

    If you can – GET RID OF THE VOICEMAIL! Voicemail serves a purpose but it never was intended to replace a receptionist. I am sure you have had the experience of calling a company and getting stuck in a voicemail system.

    “If there is a Hell, I am sure it has a voicemail system.” Nothing says “We want your business, We can handle your business” like the warm voice of a live human being. You may think it would cost too much to have a live person answer your phones but I can guarantee you it does not cost as much as the business you lose each year because a customer gets impatient and leaves after trying to talk to someone and goes to a competitor.

    And finally (if you don’t already have one) establish a customer service follow-up system. Call the customer a couple days after they buy and make sure they are happy with their order and the service they received. It is usually best if you can have someone other than the person who handled the customer during the sales process to make the follow-up call. You will be surprised what little things that can upset a customer. Usually these things are easily corrected and the customer is made happy. If not handled, these little dissatisfactions can fester over time and lead to a customer going to your competition.

    I hope this information helps you. If you need any information on direct mail or customer retention programs please give us a call. 727-536-4173

    ©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

    Tag You’re It. The Importance of a Tagline.

    bigstock-A-bullhorn-megaphone-showing-t-41809327First of all what is a tagline?

    A tagline, positioning statement, strap line, slogan whatever you choose to call it is essential to building a brand and increasing your sales.

    Today in our over-advertised society the theory goes that you need something more than a name to build a brand. You need a short statement that sums up in five words or less (“or less” is better) what you do and why people would want you to do it for them. It’s the key phrase that identifies your business by capturing the essence of three elements:

    Your purpose

     Your promise

     Your concept

    Coming up with a great tagline is a struggle many people face. More often than not, they get it wrong by focusing on what their product or service is and neglecting what it offers. By offers I mean the benefits of what you do for the reader.

    To capture a reader’s eye at a glance, you need to combine all three elements of mission, promise and brand to create a great tagline that really works. Here’s how:

    Step One – Your Purpose

    There’s a saying in the copywriting world: Be clear, not clever. What is your purpose? Tip, it can’t be to “make money for the owners”. Purpose is why you do what you do. It could be to improve quality of life, or help improve our client’s business. Purpose usually revolves around what you do that “helps” the customer. What is your intention, to make things worse for your customer? No, it does not matter what the product or service is, the purpose of the company is to help your customers in some way.

    What is help? Help is assistance, aid, to improve something. It is just being able to communicate how you help that is the trick. For example, GE had a tagline for a while that said GE “We bring good things to life”.  It was a pretty general tagline that could be used across their product lines. You read it and you had a good idea of what the purpose was of the company.

    Step Two – So What?

    It was once said that when it comes to advertising everyone listens to the exact same radio station. The stations call letters are WII-FM. The call letters are an acronym for “What’s In It For Me”. The benefits of what you are promoting are more important than what you are selling. People want to know how it will help them. If you can sum up the answer to WII-FM in the tag-line it will go a long way to making it memorable and effective.

    If you’re looking for an easy yet memorable way to differentiate your products and services from the competition, a tag-line will help you. A tagline is a brief, one line descriptor phrase that sums up a company or product. Taglines are a great way to communicate how you can solve customer problems, as well as promote ways that your company is unique.

    Whatever your tagline is, it must communicate. When someone sees your tagline they must instantly be able to know what it is and why they would want it.

    A tagline ties in your print marketing, postcards, brochures, all the way to your Internet marketing, web site, pay-per-click ads, to your stationary and business envelopes, to the sign in front of your building. Everything you do is projecting the same message. Having a tagline helps to tie everything you do together which adds impact and meaning to your logo.

    ©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

    The Do’s & Don’ts of Coupon Marketing

    bigstock-Cut-up-some-coupons-to-save-mo-6579516Businesses have always sent out and people have always liked and used coupons, today even more so than ever. One of the biggest shows on TV is about couponing. People, your customers among them, are interested in saving money or simply getting more for their money.

    Have you ever used coupons or coupon books to promote your services? Would you like to?

    If you have not done so already, you should take advantage of the couponing craze. When used effectively, coupons, more specifically coupon books, will help you increase sales by improving customer retention and frequency of purchase.

    The following is a short list of do’s and don’ts for coupon books:

    • Coupon booklets can be used as a self-mailer to existing customers or to generate leads to prospects. Coupon booklets are also a good handout at trade shows. We have created coupon books for auto dealerships to heating and air contractors to restaurants. The coupon booklet concept works for most business models. Lawyers, dentists and chiropractors can use coupon books as a sort of client referral program.
    • Clearly define your offer. Coupons that are vague don’t get used. Use wording like $10 off a specific item. Include the normal price of the item so they can easily see the value.
    • Make sure the offer is a real value and has value. The better the value, the more bite the coupon will have and the more business you will generate.
    • Call to action: Also known as an expiration date. Make sure the date is not too far out, but also that it is also not so close they cannot take advantage of it.
    • Include special limits. Example: one per customer.
    • Market items or services that are timely or seasonal. The viewpoint here is strike while the iron is hot. If people buy a product at a specific time of the year, give them a reason to call you and not your competitor by putting a special offer in their hands.
    • Promote new products or services.
    • All standard rules for ads and postcards apply to coupons such as use of compelling headlines, promoting benefits and call to action. A coupon is, in essence, an ad message and you still have 2 to 3 seconds to get their attention and create interest.
    • Include QR codes to drive traffic to your website. The best idea is to have them register for some sort of give-away or promotional offer. If the landing page is set up correctly you can capture contact information.
    • Include a promotional code to allow you to track response.
    • Never honor a coupon that has expired. The reason is that it trains your customers and prospects that your coupon and offer expirations are meaningless and that they can get the deal anytime. This is one of the reasons advertising response rates decrease.
    • A coupon book mailer is an excellent way to promote multiple products, increase and track sales. If you would like more information on how much the costs are for designing, printing and mailing coupon books for your business please give us a call.

    ©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

    The One Thing ALL Effective Advertising Has in Common

    bigstock-The-word-Attention-on-a-big-ou-44724658The answer, a targeted and well stated HEADLINE, which contains or implies a benefit to the reader.

    It does not matter what type of marketing you do, from postcards to billboards, if you want to get prospective customers interested and excited about doing business with your company, creating eye-stopping, attention-grabbing headlines is the first and most important step.

    While the content of your advertisement is important for relaying information and nurturing along the interest into a reach for service, it is the headline that creates the initial interest with the reader, and entices them to read more about what your company has to offer.

    The headline can be compared to the bait in fishing. The proper bait gets noticed while the incorrect bait gets ignored.

    Knowing the six basic types of headlines will help you boost the response to your advertising:

    1. The problem/solution headline. Readers are looking for products and services that will make their lives easier. By writing a headline that poses a problem many readers may have and offers the solution your company can provide, you have created a situation that will most likely encourage the reader to take a look at the remainder of your advertisement.

    TOO BUSY to cook a hot, balanced meal for your family?

    Al’s diner specializes in nutritious food served ready to go so the ones you love can eat well, especially when you don’t have time to cook.

    2. The historical event headline. If there is something newsworthy about your product or service, such as it is the world-premiere, or a limited-time offer, it can prove to be an effective draw.

    Hey! You Can Participate!

    Our new program is being launched and you can have a part in a world premiere event.

    3. The testimonial. Providing a testimony from a person that has used your product or service encourages prospective customers to think, “If it worked for him, it can work for me, too!” People are also skeptical and wary of making a mistake when purchasing. Using a testimonial is a way to add credibility to your advertising.

    “I have used the STEAK-O-MATIC meat processing system for three months and cooking has never been faster or easier.” Rhett Jones

    4. Product claims. Include statistics and percentages in your headline to increase a product’s credibility. It is important to credit the source of the information you use because it gives your prospective customers a piece of mind about using your product. Even if the source is not well-known by the public, it should be included.

    NINE out of TEN mothers agree, do-do free Pampers are the most revolutionary product since the toaster.

    Source: Modern Mother Magazine

    5. Outrageous statements. The purpose of writing a headline is to provoke curiosity in your readers – making an outrageous statement relating to your product or service will almost force your readers to see what you have to say.

    Are our blades good?… No… They are damn good!

    Become a member of shave club today.

    6. Questions. Posing a question to your readers allows them to take an active role in your advertisement. The key is asking a question that most people will feel compelled to answer because it is relevant to their lives. People will naturally want to know what their answer to the question has to do with your products or services, and will continue reading your ad to discover what your company can do for them.

    Does the end of your day mean…the beginning of housework?

    Headlines are a key component to all successful advertising. The most effective headlines are the ones that contain a benefit to the reader. Headlines must be targeted to a specific audience. To create an effective piece of advertising, sum up the main benefit of your product or service into a concise statement from the point of view of the target audience.

    If the headline of your ad misses the point with the target audience, your ad will fail. The importance of a good headline carries over to all forms of advertising, postcards, brochures to billboards, newspaper ads to television and radio advertising.

    For your next advertising campaign spend a little time developing the headline and see your returns soar. The next most important element is the call to action which will be covered in an upcoming article. I hope this information makes marketing your business easier. If there is anything we can do to help please give us a call at 727-536-4173.

    ©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

    The Fact About Life Your Competitors Do Not Want You to Know

    The determining factor of your company’s survival boils down to one thing – “Attitude”. The attitude of you and the attitude of your staff toward conditions you face has more to do with success than anything else, period.


    If you and/or your staff have a doom and gloom attitude about the economy, life or business in general do you think people will want to do business with your company?  The fact is there is no down economy there is just “the economy”. It is doing whatever it is doing and you, yourself can handle the cards you are dealt in one of three ways. One, you can run from it. Two, you can hide from it. Or, three, you can attack it and handle the hell out of it.

    The fact is, with a positive outlook, you will be able to find solutions to problems more easily than you can with a negative attitude. How you approach the challenges you face determines your success. How can you improve your attitude?

    Your production and income will improve with a proactive/positive attitude. Why? Because when you are hiding and running from the situation you are not confronting it. When you confront the situation you mentally are better able to handle the situation. There are only so many ways you can hide and the planet is only so big, so eventually you are going to be running in a circle with your problem still nipping at your heals.

    If you and your staff have a “let’s get it done”, “we can do it”, “let’s make it happen” attitude, things will seem to happen magically. Your marketing will need to be better, smarter and more focused than ever.  The following are five areas you need to look at in order to increase your company’s sales today.

    Defense may win games in football, but in business offense wins games. A strong offense starts with a positive attitude and continues with the quantity and quality of your marketing and promotion.

    1. How are you promoting? When things tighten up many businesses cut all forms of promotion and look for cheaper ways to promote, like just sending out emails because they are cheap. The problem is email and web marketing alone is not enough to carry most businesses to the sales level they need to survive today. A media mix is more important than ever.

    2. Focus on message. Your message has to be focused more than ever on benefits you offer to the customer. These benefits have to be benefits that are real and important to your customer, not what you think the benefits are. To find out what is actually important to your customer you should talk to them, ask them how your product or service has helped them, what they like most about what you offer. This is a simple survey and the answers will give you what you need to create a more effective advertising message.

    Have you ever noticed that when you are bitching and complaining people really don’t care. They have their own problems and just want to get away from you. When people are optimistic, upbeat and happy they can do incredible things. When you are in a positive frame of mind mentally,  you naturally see opportunity. Positive people win in life. There is nothing to it really except the decision to look for the opportunity in a situation you have.

    If you feel like you need help to generate more customers for your business, you should call us and talk to one of our marketing consultants. Sometimes an exterior point of view can help pull you out of the woods.

    ©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

    Does Repetition Really Work or Are You Just Trying to Get Me to Buy More?


    The answer to both of these questions is YES.

    The reason repetitive advertising is effective is because of two reasons: market timing and familiarity.

    The fact is it is almost impossible to time the market, which is exactly what you are doing when you “try” some form of advertising to see if it works. The reason is that the market place is made up of individual people and these individuals have different needs at different times. There is no way to tell exactly how many people who are in the market today for what you sell. But over the course of several weeks and months, there will be a lot more people who will come into the market for what you sell. So a one-shot, “let’s try it” approach usually is like playing roulette.

    By being in front of prospects regularly and often you increase your chances to get that customer when he is ready to buy. Why?  Familiarity.

    Familiarity simply means that people buy from companies that they are familiar with. If you are the new guy trying to get the prospect’s business and this is the first time the prospect has ever heard of you may or may not get a call.  The more familiar people are with your business the more likely you are to get the sale.

    The ONLY way for a prospect to become familiar with your business is by continuous and repetitious advertising. The more he sees and hears your message, the more confidence he has in your company.

    Tired of Wasting Money on Advertising that Does Not Work? Click Here

    The reason most businesses give up on a course of marketing is one-word “anxiety”. Because they have not sat down and calculated the worth of a customer, they come up with unrealistic advertising response goals. When the response falls short of what they expected they give up and move on to something else. Do this often enough and you end up a disillusioned advertiser with no customers and no money.

    What is a customer worth to your business? We have a simple formula you can use to identify exactly what a customer is worth. Knowing what a customer is worth will help you to better plan your advertising and more importantly determine the returns you need to make your advertising worthwhile.

    Direct mail marketing provides a higher return-on-investment (ROI) than most other means of advertising. But if direct mail works so well, why is it that so many small business owners tell me “I tried direct mail once… it didn’t work!” Well, the answer is in the word “once”. Direct mail like any other type of marketing/advertising takes repetition. The answer is because they tried it once, and more to the point,  they tried to time the market and lost.

    Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. If you got one postcard at one point in your life, would it impact you a whole lot? In fact, after you put it down, would you even remember the companies name after an hour? Chances are you wouldn’t, especially if the company was one you’d never heard of before. Repetition is the name of the game with postcards or any type of direct mail marketing. It typically takes 3-5 postcard mailings to the same mailing list before the response rate ramps up fully.

    Take this as an example: let’s say your lawnmower broke. It is nearing the end of the summer and you don’t really want to buy a new mower because you will really only have to mow once or twice in the fall. So you start looking at ads for lawn mowing services when…you remember this postcard that you’ve been getting in the mail every three weeks that describes this awesome lawn mowing service right in town!

    Now, this is the power of direct mail repetition. Had the company only sent one or two postcards it probably wouldn’t have made enough of an impact, but because they sent them every two to three weeks, the person probably even had one kicking around.

    So the answer to the question is yes repetition works and yes I am trying to get you to buy more.  Not because I want your money, but because I don’t want you to waste your money with a hit and miss advertising approach.

    The secret to effective advertising is to zero in on exactly who your target audience is, find out what they need and want, offer that need/want, then promote, promote, promote, promote and finally promote to them what you do.

    Need help with marketing your business? Fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly. We would love to help you!

    The Power of the Printed Word


    You may think that the entire world has gone electronic and you would probably be correct. Computers, smart phones and other electronic gadgets are everywhere. What is the best way to use technology to grow your business?

    While many people may spend a vast majority of their time staring at a computer screen, the printing world still plays a major part in the media mix we encounter in our daily lives.

    There is so much competition in electronic media that it can be difficult to cut through the clutter and create interest in your service. This is especially true when it comes to advertising and promoting your products.

    It is always a good idea to put something solid in a prospects or customers hands. Something tangible and solid cuts through the clutter and makes and impression.

    Click Here for Pricing?

    Here are a few ways that promotional materials such as postcards, brochures, flyers, manuals and catalogs have stood the test of time:

    • Convenience. Many people prefer print materials they can read at their leisure.
    • Credibility. Printed promotional materials are perceived as being more credible than electronic marketing.
    • Targeted. Separate print promotions can be easily targeted to a specific demographic group, market segment, or geographic region.
    • Customized information. Printed materials utilizing variable data technology can be easily customized to offer the perfect amount of product information or different messaging across various audiences.
    • Print to Web. QR Codes and PURL technology allow customization and tie print to web. You can direct someone directly to a page on the Internet to nurture interest into desire for your product or service.
    • Quality control. Print media allows you to control the color, quality, and crispness of product photos and other design elements in your promotional materials.
    • Staying power. Print marketing offers an enduring message that can be seen again and again. There’s something special about holding a printed document in your hands that no amount of electronic wizardry can ever replace. It is personal and your message is real. There is virtually no competition, it is you and your customer.

    Looking for Pricing? Click Here!

    Our team is here to help you out when you’re ready to unleash your printing magic! We specialize in unique custom marketing mailers down to a simple postcard. It you need more business you should call us at 727-536-4173.

    ©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

    The Fastest, Simplest and Cheapest Way to Promote Just About Any Business

    The answer is direct mail. You can get your message to a targeted group of prospects or to your existing customers for a cost of about .25 to .30 cents each, including postage, for a postcard mailing. This is true if you work with a direct mail house or a full service commercial printer like Wilson Printing. We get discounts on postage rates because the volume of mail we send out and the equipment we use presorts and bar codes the mail for the Post Office.

    Click Here to Find Out How You Can Increase Direct Mail Response Rates by 40%

    You can actually send someone a postcard every 30 days for only $3 a year. There is no other advertising medium that allows you to reach out and touch a prospect for less money. People love getting mail. As long as people have a mailbox and get their mail, postcards and direct mail will be very effective.

    You can generate leads, create sales, ask prospects to give you a try or convince existing customers to buy more or buy more often. What are the two biggest secrets of direct mail marketing with postcards and self-mailers?

    Regular, repeated mailings are the way to create big predictable results. When you mail every 30 days for a year you will cause a dramatic growth in your business. People respond to repetition. Children are a good example of this. My seven-year-old son knows that if I say no to his first three requests for a cookie, he only has two or three more requests for that cookie before I give in and he gets what he wants. Your customers and prospective customers are similar. They need to be asked repeatedly too. Consistency sells. Of all your direct mail options, postcards are the most affordable. Postcards allow you to consistently ask for the cookie, affordably.


    There are really only four reasons people don’t buy your products and services. Look at your own buying behavior and see for yourself if you believe me when I tell you these four apply to you too.

    Number 1: No need. You can save lots of time, effort and money by targeting your postcard mailings to groups of people who have demonstrated they want your product or service or ones similar to yours and then mail to them. Follow at least this one piece of advice and become more profitable immediately.

    Target your marketing. Promote your business exclusively to people likely to have a strong desire for the benefits provided by your product or service.

    Number 2: No money. Consumers and businesses rarely avoid buying something because they don’t have (or can’t get) the money needed to make the purchase. They avoid buying what you offer because they place a higher priority on spending money for something else.

    Want to Check Out Postcard Samples? Click Here.

    People usually buy a product to avoid pain and/or gain pleasure. You can get them to buy from you by making it clear to them that buying your product or service will get rid of something they don’t want (avoid pain) or will get them something they do want or will get them more of something they already have that they like having (gain pleasure).

    It is your job to demonstrate to your prospects that your products and services give or get them what they really want. Consumers and businesses rarely avoid buying something because they don’t have (or can’t get) the money needed to make the purchase. They avoid buying what you offer because they place a higher priority on spending money for something else.

    What is the most nagging problem you can solve for prospects in your targeted market? Make it real to them how they’ll feel when your product or service eliminates that problem. Communicate how they can get their problem solved by your product or service.

    Number 3: No hurry. People tend to drag their feet after they decide to buy something. The longer they wait to purchase the more likely they are to forget why your product or service is valuable or even absolutely necessary to them. Keep your message in front of them with repetitive mailings. If you don’t…You’ll lose the business. The reason repetitive mailings are so effective is that they remind your customers and prospects of what they are missing by not having your product or service working for them in their life. You can avoid losing sales because of “no hurry” by rewarding customers for taking immediate action and penalizing those who don’t. For example, offer a special discount price or a special bonus for ordering before a deadline.

    Do repetitive mailings to targeted customers and prospects and you will make more sales

    Number 4: No trust. Most people’s fear of losing something is a bigger concern than getting something that they want.

    This fear causes them to frequently avoid buying something they truly want. We all have had the experience of making a bad decision on a purchase. The fear of making another bad decision hangs in the back of your mind.

    People don’t want to buy and then find out that your product or service won’t solve their problem. They don’t want to be or even feel ripped off or lose money over the solution to their problem. You must take away their risk in doing business with you. You must provide a way that they can “trust” you.

    There are several ways you can ease their mind:

    • Eliminate the risk with an unconditional money back guarantee.
    • Give them testimonials from satisfied customers and/or provide references that prove the quality and reliability of your product or service.
    • Make it easy for your prospects and customers to communicate with you and get their questions and concerns answered. Let them see you and your business are real and that you value getting and keeping their trust for present and future business.

    These are really the only four reasons why people don’t buy from you. You can increase your sales and profits by knowing them and doing everything you can to mail your direct mail piece to the people and businesses most likely to want and benefit from your products and services. Make it clear to them how valuable the benefits of your products and services are to them. Get them to see the urgency of getting the value of your products and services now and finally that they can trust you to help them get the benefits you promised your products and services would give them. Wilson Printing can help you design effective attention-getting direct mail pieces. We can help you choose the most effective type of direct mail piece for your business. Full-color postcards and brochures as well as lead letters and unique envelopes are a few of the direct mail options we offer. Which is best for your business depends on your business.

    When you do all these things, guess what? People will buy from you. Use direct mail in repetitive mailings and make your business soar.

    ©2005-2018 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved

    The Secret to Generating More Leads for Your Business

    The Secret to Generating Leads For Your Business:


    Step 1 – Understanding What It Takes to Generate a Lead

    Do you ever feel that you are wasting your money advertising? The fact is that you may very well be doing just that if one of the following three things is missing in your marketing program.

    First of all, understanding the market place and people’s buying habits is the first step. This will give you the proper estimation of the amount of effort it will take to generate a lead.

    People today are over advertised to. They wake up each morning on their Serta “Perfect Sleeper” mattress to the buzzing sound of their GE “We Bring Good Things to Life” alarm clock, eat a bowl of the “Breakfast of Champions” and jump into their “Today’s Chevrolet”. Driving to work they pass countless billboards and signs while listening to a radio station that plays 22 minutes of commercials an hour. Most television stations run 30 minutes an hour of commercials. The newspaper is 65 -70 percent ads. Then the Internet is in your face constantly with come-ons and ads. Email in-boxes are full. Direct mail arrives in your home mailbox, filling it. People simply cannot absorb all the marketing and advertising they are exposed to. So they selectively choose who and what they notice. This has to do with step 2 in this article.

    As a business owner or manager trying to generate leads and sales for your company what does this mean to you? It means that to generate a lead it is going to take a lot more effort than you thought. You can make this work to your advantage. How? Read on.

    Look at your marketplace as a large bulls-eye. The center of the bulls-eye represents the “ready to buy today” prospects. These people have shopped around and are ready to buy today. The amount of people who are ready to buy varies week-to-week, month-to-month and from product category to product category, but it represents roughly 5 to 10 percent of the total potential buy public. The important thing to remember about the center “buying now zone” is these people have shopped mentally and, to a large degree, have decided whom and where they are going to shop. You reach these people with the offer element or buy now part in your ad. But even for this to work to any degree you have to have laid down the ground work properly.

    The other rings of the bulls-eye represent what is called the awareness zones. The important thing to remember about the awareness zones is that market share is won or lost in the awareness zones not in the bulls-eye.

    The closer a prospect gets to the center the more actively they are shopping and thinking about a particular product. Think about the last time you bought a car. Did you run out one day and just buy a new car? Maybe, but most likely not. You more than likely, for several months in advance, were thinking about it. You started noticing different makes and models and maybe watched a commercial for a model that got your interest. Your thinking went from “I’m going to need a new car soon” to “you know I like the new Camaros” to “I would look good behind the wheel of a Camaro” to “I wonder how much they sell for” to “Joe has a Camaro, I wonder what he thinks of it” to “can I afford one?” to “who sells them” to “wow Parkway Chevrolet has them on sale.” This cycle could take six months or a year for larger ticket items to several days for smaller ticket items.

    By advertising consistently and regularly you are reaching people in the awareness zones. You are buying what is called Top of Mind Awareness. When people are ready to buy, you want them to think of you and not your competition, or at least put you on the list of the two or three places they will shop before they buy.

    It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in the bulls-eye principle applies to you. The amount of effort it takes to generate a lead today is five to ten times what the average business owner thinks. In today’s economy it is more important than ever that you are consistent in your advertising and promotion. Reaching prospects consistently and regularly will pay dividends to you.

    Step 2 – Using the Correct Bait

    The second part of the equation in generating leads is about the correct message. What do your customers want? How do they want it? This is accomplished by doing surveys. By knowing what is needed and wanted by your customers you can develop a message that attracts attention and generates response. Our consultants can help you develop an effective message. Marketing is a lot like fishing. Once you know what bait to use it really becomes quite easy to catch fish. If you use the wrong bait you will spend a lot of time on the water and catch no fish. In marketing we call bait a button. It is called a button because when you hit it you generate a response. Our designers are very good at taking your button (bait) and crafting a message in the form of a direct mail piece that will generate leads.

    Step 3 – Your People

    The third part of the equation is sales. How effective are your sales people? A lot of money can be wasted in generating leads, if when a prospect calls they are handled poorly and unprofessionally and a sale is lost. You lost all the time and money it took to generate that lead. Training and drilling can make all the difference. There are several good sales training courses available. It would be wise to make some sort of sales training a regular part of your repertoire.

    The order of sequence is:

    1. Decide you are going to be consistent in your promotion.

    2. Survey your present customers and find out what they need and want, why they bought from you and what they like about your service.

    2a. Who is your target prospect? Find out by looking at your best customers. Look for common demographics and characteristics such as age, income, where they live, etc. This will help you in buying a mailing list or selecting a media to use.

    3. Create a message using the buttons you found from your survey.

    4. Commit to a consistent advertising program that lasts at least six months.

    5. Train and drill your frontline people, anyone who has contact with customers and prospects, on how to handle the customer. This would include receptionists, customer service people, front counter people, even service technicians and your sales people. You want anyone who has contact with your customers to be able to effectively and professionally handle customers and prospects.

    *NOTE: Training is not a one-time action, but is on going.

    The moral of this article is that marketing wars are fought and won on the battlefield of consistency. Your artillery is a targeted message you deliver with regularity to a targeted public. Your foot soldiers are your frontline employees such as your sales people or front counter people. If these people are trained and drilled they will win the skirmishes and battles that win the war for your company.

    Need Help with Your Marketing? Click Here!

    Mark Hale


    The Two Reasons Why Businesses Fail


    The most overlooked source of potential income by small and medium sized businesses is people who have already bought from them, their customers. Being able to tap into this resource is vital. The major goal of a business should be capturing identities that can be marketed to with the purpose of selling their products or services. An identity is simply the name and contact information of people who have bought from you or shopped at your business.

    Why is building a database of your customers important?

    • People who have bought from you are already familiar with your business. If happy, they are the most likely people to buy from you again and are very easily persuaded to do so. The simple law of business is that business goes where it is invited. If you are not inviting them REGULARLY to do business with you, your competition will and are. A fact of life is that your competitors are always trying to steal your customers out from under you. Are you making it easy for them to steal customers away? If you are not continually marketing to your customers, you are making it easy on your competition.
    • Your best source of referrals is from happy customers. There are tools we can help you with to tap into this source of new business.
    • 75% of the market value of your business lies in your customer database. It is not your inventory, your building or even your employees or you. The more information you have about who your customers are the more value your business has. In the future, if you ever want to sell your business, the potential value to a buyer lies in your database. The more complete your database is the more money someone is likely to give you for your business. This could mean the loss of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to you simply because you did not make it a priority to keep a useable record of who is doing business with you.

    The basic information you need to gather is name, address, phone and email address. Better if you can also gather their sex, where they live, household income, birthdates, how often they buy, how much they spend and what other purchases they are likely to make after buying your product.

    During economic slow downs the first place you should concentrate on for more business is selling to people who have already bought from you. The second place is marketing to get new customers who are similar to your regular customers. It also makes it easier to buy mailing lists of viable prospects if you know the profiles of people who have already bought from you. This information will dramatically improve your results from your promotion.

    There are mainly two reasons why businesses fail today. Number one is a poor product or service. Number two is because these businesses did not market to the right people often enough.

    Step #1 Storing the Data

    You have to have a place to store the information so that it is accessible and useable to you. There are many database programs available, Gold Mine and ACT are a couple of the more popular ones. Microsoft Access comes standard with most PC’s today. If you have a cash register program many of them have features for storing and down loading data about customers and purchases.

    Step #2 Gathering Data

    How do you get this information?

    • If your business uses invoices, survey old invoices. Old invoices can contain a lot of the data you need (Name, address, phone number, purchase amounts and regularity of purchases). Require that your employees ask for the information from customers on every purchase and fill out invoices as completely as possible.
    • Loyalty cards. Punch cards are a great tool because they reward customers for making regular purchases. IMPORTANT: Don’t just pass punch cards out like candy without getting some basic information in return. Have a punch card registration form made. On the form ask the customer their name, address, email address and birthday. People like these cards and will usually give you the data, if you ask for it.
    • Coupon books are another great tool to get customer information. You can sell the booklets or give them out for free. The catch is, the customer has to give you their contact information.
    • Register to win programs. A simple fish bowl for people to drop their business cards in to win something of value works great. It requires little effort on the part of your customer and gives you basic information on that customer. The catch is you have to empty the fish bowl weekly and enter the data into your database. You also have to train your employees to actively promote the contest to your customers.

    *Please note, gathering customer data is a never-ending task. Much emphasis needs to be placed on gathering this information by YOU or it will not get done. In today’s economy, not building a database of your customers means that you have a death wish for your business. I’m sorry if I did not sugar coat it enough for you, but in today’s market place it is vital to the survival and expansion of your business.

    Once you have your customers in some sort of database you can start marketing to them. There are many tools you can use to reach your customers. Wilson Printing can help you design and implement these tools into a program that will take your business to the next level.

    Mark Hale




    Tips For Affordable Color Printing

    You’re designing a new brochure, flyer or newsletter and want to make sure it looks great. You’re considering printing it full-color, but aren’t sure if that’s the best option to choose considering your budgetary needs. Here are some tips to help you decide how many colors to use and how to make the most of the colors you choose. The important thing to remember is that color brings life to otherwise dull text, photos can help drive home the main point. Digital printing for low runs is the best bet for adding color, it is very affordable. For higher run print jobs printing on an offset press will keep your cost low.

    When to use spot colors. What are spot colors?

    Spot colors are specific colors. Let’s say you only need one or two colors for a printed piece and your project doesn’t include any full-color photos. Your corporate colors that you need reproduced are to exact specifications and cannot be reproduced faithfully enough by combining cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK)… the four “process” colors. Or, your project calls for fluorescent, metallic or other special inks. Then you would use spot colors. You can also use half tones of the main process colors you use to add more impact to your piece.


    When to use process color?

    Process color or CMYK is used when you need more than two colors, usually when printing a post card or brochure and your piece includes full-color photos or graphics. Process color adds a full array of color options at your disposal and is very affordable to do.

    When to use both in your design?

    Use both when you want to enhance the colors by including a “bump” plate (an extra printing plate set up in one of the four process colors and meant to enhance that tone). Or, your project includes full-color photos, but your logo or corporate colors don’t reproduce well with process color inks. You can use both when your project includes full-color photos and also requires metallic, fluorescent or other special inks.

    No matter what color combination you choose, there are some things you can do to ensure your project goes more smoothly. For example, as you’re preparing your artwork, make sure you aren’t “duplicating” any colors. Look through the color palette in your page layout software. Remove any duplicate colors you find and reassign the corresponding objects and layers accordingly.

    Also, make sure you give your colors the same names in each application you use for the project. For example, make sure you give the color the same name in InDesign as you give it in Photoshop and Illustrator. This will help reduce confusion and ensure the colors separate properly when preparing the piece for print.

    And finally, if you decide to go with process printing, use your design software to convert any spot colors you have to their CMYK equivalents. When doing so, double-check the values the software assigns to ensure good printability. For example, if Photoshop gives a color a 1% magenta value, you might want to do some tweaking to eliminate the need for that value. We’ll be happy to help you optimize your files for print and answer any questions you have while producing your files.

    Another tip for color printing is always give your printer a printed sample of the item or color you want matched. The reason is that the color you see on your computer monitor will be different than the color you see on a printed piece. Unless your monitor has been color calibrated don’t assume the finished product will look like your computer monitor. Also colors can vary greatly from computer monitor to computer monitor. When the exact color is important always ask for a printed color proof. Please note if we have a printed sample of the color you are trying to match, we can usually match it.

    Click Here for Color Printing Pricing

    The use of color can bring a printed piece to life. Color can also improve the response rate of direct mail like postcards or brochures. Give us a call, we would be happy to help you out.

    Mark Hale